Applying the OODA Loop to Lean

Dr. Terry Barnhart, the Senior Director Strategy and Continuous Improvement at Pfizer Global R&D discusses the OODA Loop in this Business901 Podcast. We expand this theory into some practical applications and using the OODA Loop in and outside of rapid deployment. Dr. Barnhart has an upcoming book due out at the end of the year on using Lean in Product Development. It will be published by Productivity Press.

For more information on the OODA Loop there is a a Boyd symposium coming up on October 15 and 16 at the Marine base at Quantico, VA. You may contact Stanton Coerr Dr. Barnhart will also  presenting a short course for Management Round Table on Lean in R&D, which will include a lot of Boyd theory, including the OODA loop and beyond, in Cambridge MA on November 3&4. Go to The promo code FOT (friends of Terry) will give you $300 off.

This is a podcast you do not want to miss. At the end of the podcast the music starts and stops again to include an extra 10 minutes on the discussion of implementing a Lean Culture utilizing OODA Loop principles. A takeaway from our conversation:

If you can find the cultural levers that are aligned with Lean that absorb ideas into your company, you won’t need to go force anything. It’ll pull it in whether you want it too or not. You won’t even be able to stop it.

That’s the kind of thing that we’ve been thinking about. How can we do this with people? How can we do this with divisions? How can we do this with entire companies? It’s fascinating because I think there are ways consistent with what Boyd taught. It’s not the same but, I think there are ways that companies can boot?strap the stuff. I don’t mean to say it’s a grass?roots or bottom?up, it’s a whatever it is that gets into their cultural system. It’ll absorb it very quickly and spread. How can we do that with Lean?

Recommended Reading:
Frans Osinga, Science, Strategy and War: The Strategic Theory of John Boyd (Strategy and History),
Chet Richards, Certain to Win: The Strategy of John Boyd, Applied to Business

Related Information:
Phooey on the need for Management Support in a Lean Transformation
The Strategy of the Fighter Pilot Revisited
Key Marketing Concepts from the Korean War
If the facts don’t fit the theory, change the facts!
Boyd’s Law of Iteration: Speed beats Quality :
Iterative Process Gaining Steam – Proof it works :

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